The world of sports is constantly evolving, and with it, the methods by which athletes train and recover from injuries. While some older techniques are still in use, many teams and individual athletes turn to more innovative approaches to stay ahead of the competition. This article will explore some current health care methods for sports training and recovery.
Many athletes rely on chiropractic treatment to help them recover from injuries and improve their performance. Chiropractors use a variety of techniques to manipulate the spine and other joints in order to relieve pain and improve the range of motion.
Various research results have shown that chiropractic treatment can be effective for treating acute and chronic back pain, headaches, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal conditions. These were from the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012; Journal of the American Medical Association in 2013; Spine Journal in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018; BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders in 2016; American College of Physicians in 2017; JAMA Open Network in 2018; and Oxford Academic Pain Medicine Journal in 2019.
Massage therapy is another popular treatment option for athletes. Massage therapists use their hands to apply pressure and manipulate the muscles and soft tissues in order to reduce pain and promote healing.
Athletes often find massage therapy helpful for recovery from injuries, as well as for reducing stress and improving performance.
Acupuncture is a practice from time-honored Chinese medicine wherein thin needles are inserted into particular body points.
Acupuncture is said to improve the flow of energy or “qi” through the body and is used for a variety of health conditions, including pain relief.
Some research has shown that acupuncture can be effective for treating chronic pain, migraines, and other conditions. A study published in the Journal of Pain in November 2017 showed that acupuncture effectively treats chronic pain, with its effects persisting over time. Results also showed that those were not due to a placebo effect.
Another study published in PubMed Central of the National Library of Medicine in October 2017 showed that acupuncture showed more pain relief of statistical significance than analgesic injection 30 minutes after treatment.
Athletes use acupuncture for a variety of reasons, including pain relief, injury recovery, and improved performance.
Cold therapy, or cryotherapy, is a treatment that involves exposing the body to extremely cold temperatures. This can be done using ice packs, cold baths or showers, or special chambers that cool the air around the body.
Cold therapy is often used to reduce inflammation and pain after an injury. It can also be used as a preventative measure to help athletes recover from strenuous exercise and reduce the risk of injuries.
A review published in Frontiers in Physiology in May 2017 showed that most of the evidence from studies supported the effectiveness of whole-body cryotherapy in relieving all inflammatory conditions besetting athletes. There was significant improvement in stress, pain, and recovery compared to other treatments.
Athletes often use cold therapy to help them recover from injuries and pain, as well as to improve their performance.
Heat therapy is the opposite of cold therapy and involves exposing the body to warm temperatures. This can be done using heat lamps, heating pads, warm baths, or hot showers.
Heat therapy is often used to relax muscles, reduce pain, and improve circulation. It can also be used as a preventative measure to help athletes recover from strenuous exercise and reduce the risk of injuries.
A study published in Frontiers in Physiology in December 2019 showed that heat therapy helps with rehabilitation after injury. It also reduces muscle mass decline while the athlete is immobilized or is severely restricted from exercising.
Athletes often use heat therapy to help them recover from injuries and pain, as well as to improve their performance.
Laser therapy is a relatively new treatment option that uses low-level lasers or light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to stimulate the healing process.
Laser therapy is said to help reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness, while also promoting healing.
A study published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine in February 2016 showed that low-level laser therapy significantly reduced pain and increased range of motion among patients with Bouchard’s and Heberden’s osteoarthritis.
A study published in Practical Pain Management in March 2022 showed that low-level laser therapy can prevent the need for knee replacement in knee osteoarthritis. The treatment reduces pain and increases movement in patients.
Athlete’s Choices for Training and Recovery
Overall, there are many current health care methods for sports training and recovery available to athletes. These include chiropractic treatment, massage therapy, acupuncture, cold therapy, heat therapy, and laser therapy. While each method has its own set of benefits, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine which method is best for you.